"But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god." Acts 28:6, NASB
At first, the people thought Paul was a murderer, worthy of death.
Justice was being served to this vile criminal, care of a deadly viper.
The people were satisfied with that thought and unconcerned about Paul's fate. He could run, but he couldn't hide.
But then something amazing happened.
Paul shook the viper off into the fire and simply went about his business.
Instead of swelling up or dying, he warmed himself by the fire and chatted with his companions.
In a clear demonstration of the fickleness of friends and the rapidly changing nature of peoples' opinions, the very ones who assumed that Paul was a murderer changed course and started saying he was a god!
Oh, how rapidly things can change.
Friends are fickle.
One day you're a hero. The next, you're a heal.
Friends change. Strangers change. The world changes.
Listen. Don't sweat it.
Really, if you think about it, you're likely neither as good nor as bad as people think anyway.
Just live for God without regard for peoples' opinions.
Shake off the vipers and get on with your life.